Cloud Gate in Black and White

Cloud Gate Sculpture in Black and White

This huge sculpture, unofficially known as the bean, was my main reason for visiting Chicago. I had been looking forward to a chance to capture this work of art for many years. My favourite image of the bean is without people around it. To get this I got up very early in the morning before anyone else. After reviewing my shots it does seem less real in a way without people. For anyone who has never had the chance to visit Chicago and see Cloud Gate it is difficult to give a true sense of scale. This is where people can work well in a photograph. Anytime after 7am to late into the evening there will be crowds of people here most days.

The Bean of Chicago

The Bean of Chicago

Here I wanted to make the Cloud Gate sculpture appear quite small in the frame. By using a wide angle lens and putting the camera (on tripod of course) low down has given me this perspective. The buildings here are some of my favourites as they are very tall but also have quite a unique older style of architecture. Only one or two have the ultra modern glass walls you see in many of the larger cities around the world. When I captured this photograph I was unsure about including the moon in my final edited version. In this ten second long exposure the bright white of the moon has become like a star, but so have all the orange street lights behind the sculpture. Even the lights reflected on the stainless steel have starred out in the same fashion which seem to have worked well in my opinion.

Cloud Gate

Cloud Gate

This highly polished stainless steel sculpture is the centrepiece in Millennium Park in the centre of Chicago. Nicknamed “The Bean” it has become a tourist attraction in its own right since it opened in 2006. Any time I visited during the day or evening it was swarming with people. I took the above photograph at 6am just before sunset. There was one other photographer (if you look very closely you might be able to make out the reflection of his camera bag). I had the camera on a tripod and using a ten second long exposure I walked up and down to remove myself from the reflection. This is my favourite photograph that I took on my month long trip around the USA. I didn’t include any people in this image to give you a sense of scale but you can easily walk under the middle part of the sculpture. It weighs 110 tonnes, is 20 metres long and about 13 metres high!

Thunderbird House Post

Thunderbird House Post

One of the coolest things I came across on my wonders through Stanley Park in Vancouver was a fantastic collection of House Posts. There were eight Totem Poles in total of various sizes and designs. Carved house posts are used in traditional First Nations cedar houses to support the huge roof beams. This pole is a replica of a house post carved by Kwakwaka’wakw artist Charlie James in the early 1900s. Tony Hunt carved this replica in 1987 to replace the older pole now in the Vancouver Museum. This photograph shows just the very top of a much larger post.